The Catholic School of St Gregory The Great Believe and Achieve

Design Tech Curriculum



In D+T we aim for all of our children to see themselves as designer makers.  We endeavour to inspire a sense of curiosity in our children and develop their enthusiasm for D+T, recognising that the skills and knowledge they learn through D+T can be used to have a positive impact on God’s world around them.

To be able to be a designer maker, children will need to build up the skills, knowledge and understanding of designer makers.  They will need to understand and use the language of D+T and apply these D+T skills and knowledge across the curriculum, making connections both within D+T and across other subjects too.


To be a designer maker children need to use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.


The aims of the National Curriculum (2014) for D+T are:

  • develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world 
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users 
  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others 
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.


How we plan for progression in D+T at St Gregory’s:
The St Gregory’s Curriculum is designed around year group themes. Each has been structured and sequenced in order to engage pupils in purposeful learning by building on prior knowledge and helping connect knowledge, understanding and skills year-on-year both within D+T and across other subjects too.


D+T units are linked to our year group themes, e.g. making bread as part the Great Fire of London topic in Year 1 and making a hunting and gathering bag as part of the Stone Age topic in Year 3.


D+T is taught weekly throughout 3 of the 6 terms with each term focusing on a different aspect of D+T e.g. textiles in autumn term, resistant materials in spring term and food and nutrition in summer term. Each unit introduces a designer maker from a relevant industry such as a fashion designer, engineer or chef. Units follow the same research, design, make and evaluate process in which children evaluate existing products, design their own products for a purpose, learn and improve skills, make a product and evaluate it. 


D+T knowledge and vocabulary is revisited through retrieval opportunities within lessons and Oracy sessions. This is further enriched by whole school STEM days and trips to the Cheltenham Science festival with a focus on STEM.


We recognise that foundations for becoming designer makers are laid in the Early Years Foundation Stage through all seven strands of the Early Years Framework, especially Expressive Arts and Design. For children to be ready for the next stage in their education, the National Curriculum starting points that we strive for every child to have upon entry to Y1 in DT are:


Once children enter Y1, they work progressively towards the aims of the National Curriculum.  To ensure progression, the teaching teams have worked together to plan out curriculum coverage and then with guidance from the DT subject leader, identified the progression of skills and vocabulary required at each stage of learning to prepare children for the next stage in their learning.


D+T curriculum coverage
Coverage is based on the National Curriculum 2014 PoS with objectives allocated across phases and year groups, to ensure a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding. 


In line with our mastery approach, units are designed in a way that builds on prior skills and knowledge ensuring strong progression in D+T as children move through the school. Each year revisits the three areas of D+T so that children have exposure to subject specific vocabulary every year and can master the use of different tools and equipment. Similar skills are revisited, e.g. year 1 use resistance dyeing techniques in their textiles unit and this is revisited and built upon in year 3 so that children strengthen their skills and embed their understanding. Having a clear overview ensures children have opportunities to master a wide range of skills, work with varied materials/ingredients and learn about different people from D+T related industries. We can clearly see the D+T journey the children are on and can celebrate their prior learning and successes.


D+T Progression of skills
The Skills Progression documents interrogate the skills, knowledge and techniques required in each phase, considering age appropriate development and ensures progression is enabled through careful and informed planning.



D+T Progression of Vocabulary
Vocabulary, at an age appropriate level, is paramount to the children’s understanding and ability to articulate their intent and enable questioning. It is, therefore, a key consideration in D+T planning.  Key subject vocabulary is introduced at the appropriate time, building on prior knowledge.


See DT Vision for more information